I Would Have Almost Missed My Flight!

Man I’m not very good at time reading. You know those hour difference time duration AM PM kinda things that often appear in IQ tests? Yeah.. usually I don’t do so good in those.. I would have almost missed my flight thinking my 1am flight on the 19th is tomorrow’s 1am. (Today is 18th.) 

 

Thanks to my mom who called me to let me know. Can you imagine how the trip would be so disastrous? Not only passenger 1 cancelled, passenger 2 missed the flight! Halp! They must be dead. Haha. =_= Again, my first instinct was to panic. Second was to take things slowly and access the situation. I’m not good at thinking quickly. I think quickly all the time, except when it really matters. ㅋㅋ Anyway! I’m still very excited!

 

I made another mistake though. My second mistake was to try this interesting standing ab exercise, comprising of deceptively simple stuff. So simple, till I didn’t realize what kind of damage it would do to my crying muscles.. I did them like the day before. They are still crying. I can’t imagine how they would feel later when I force them to pull and push things and walk forever. Poor body. 

 

Now I must clear space in my SD card and phone to be able to take more pictures 🙂 Blog you later!

Thoughts before Seoulo trip 2013

I’m going to fly in less than a week. In fact, less than 3 days. It’s 48 hours away! After having to go to Seoul alone and initially being frightened, I’m getting more and more attracted to the idea of self exploration of Seoul, and now I’m just super excited and raring to go. Which is totally rare, but seoul is just so damn lovely.. I’ve always wanted to challenge my horribad non skills of finding directions! Even now I’ve taken at least 2 weeks of memorizing shops and maps and locations.. It’s just the matter of actually mapping them from birds eye view to bird landed on the ground view.. 

 

I packed my bags! Photocopied my passport and ID card! Printed coupons, flight details, packed passport, chargers, packed a door stopper (a tip from adventurous kate).. My medium luggage bag is only about 60% filled. It has to be. It has to be so that I can lug home the tons of Korean makeup and esp skin care I will lug home. Omg. Skin care. *ray of light* Just reading about it already makes me so happy, I think I will be totally overwhelmed when I’m there. Plus, I’ll stay in Myeongdong for my trip. Can you imagine the damage it’s going to cost me? Hahah. I have to buy stuff for my parents and my friend too. I seriously doubt I can visit the places I want to visit. It’s not even like I was putting all sorts of weird locations.. I gave up almost all of sightseeing in my itinerary, (save for the beautiful Yangsuri and Cheongyecheon – which I think is a must!) And I’m so tempted going to cut my hair at Juno Hair.. heard soooooo many good things about it! They can have a go at my perpetually shitty hair! muahah!

 

I stopped reading Korean. Not because I didn’t want to, because I didn’t really have time. And I’m the type of traveller who would get paranoid and overthink everything and have too many objectives. But this trip will teach me independence and confidence. As well as my desire to make international friends, I’ve signed up for meetup lessons with language cast in Hongdae. I dunno about my general lack of social skills. I notice that people who approach me too quickly I tend to shut down, regardless of sex. I just get scared of committing to a friendship. I don’t want to be burdened by dependent people, neither do I want to be a burden to others. To be free like a bird.. except for the flying part. We shall see. I hope I get to meet inspiring people like I wanted as my life goal.

 

At this point in time, I’ve used the google map engine to mark out all the places I wanna go.  It allows you to create your own maps, with various tools at your disposal. I would say it’s very handy, up to the point of actually accessing it from your phone. I cannot say it’s the most useful to my sadness, because usually google = excellent everything. I’ve been a strong advocate, converting everyone I know to chrome.. but this google map engine sadly is only in testing or something, and doesn’t have an official app, or an offline downloadable version. That’s damn sad, but I can at least take screenshots right? 

 

But anyway, I’ll have a layover at Hongkong airport for at least 3 hours, So I will probably sleep. It gives me much comfort to know that I’ll basically be visiting the top 3 airports with just 1 trip. Kind of like a steal actually. Changi airport is really very beautiful, so I can’t wait to see the 1st and 3rd, HK and Incheon airport respectively!

SIM Card or WIFI in Seoul?

I’ve been doing research on the various ways one can connect to the internet in S Korea. Seems like it’s a piece of cake, since according to many, there are so many wifi hotspots and internet speeds are one of the best in Korea. Excellent. My problem now is which service to choose?

I’m not doing a review, since I haven’t used any, but I’m going to list the pros and cons from my research, in case it helps any one who might want to travel to Korea and use them too.

It seems like there’s 2 main options, other than using roaming from your current service provider (Which is going to be insane)

1) Getting a sim card / Renting a phone/ tablet

<– this constitutes to using a brand new phone altogether, hence I will classify them as one.

  • Pros: affordable, stable + has a data and voice plan for local calls, mobility – data on the go
  • Cons: Brand new number, limited data service, not sure if your personal settings (internet accounts logged out, bookmarks missing, contact book) will be affected, some phones have service provider locks on them, preventing use of new SIM cards, if you install anti theft softwares, it may think your phone got stolen and send panic messages etc.

0014Option: Evergreen SIM Card

It’s for foreigners only. The costs of the cards are reasonably cheap, and you can have several options. There are offices from which you can purchase the cards from, including Incheon airport, Seoul subway interchange, myeongdong etc. You can even purchase it online and have it sent to your hotel. They have a facebook page, in English, mandarin.

Why I’m not getting it:

I hate to change sim cards. Just thinking about it, makes me imagine the scenario of dropping my sim card into a drain to be washed away forever..no. #paranoia Even if it’s not going to drop into some drain, I don’t want my phone to lock on me. I think I have Avast anti theft on, there are settings to either wipe my phone’s data or send messages should my Sim card change on me. Too risky.

Plus, I think you’re subject to the lucky draw of ‘it may or may not work’. You need to preregister for the service.. using some software first, and have an unlocked phone. Which if you want to check you need an IMEI look up service, your phone’s IMEI number to see if it’s locked or not. Also, I’ve read accounts of people having problems with the service. They buy the sim, but nobody could help them connect to the service provider. Or the card simply does not arrive on time, despite waiting for a while, until their trip is over, and they can’t get a refund. Horror.

2) Using wifi

  • Pros: Unlimited data usage, can use your smartphones as per normal, you can use wifi with plane mode turned on. Can make calls via skype or LINE, katalk?
  • Cons: Limited to hot spots (unless you get something like a portable wifi hotspot), not so good for places with poor signals, gotta keep signing in, can’t make domestic or international calls.

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Option: Olleh Wifi Egg

The premise seems good. You rent an egg, unlimited wifi data. 5 people can connect to the device, more days used, discounts will be given. 4G speeds. Collectable at airports. Yay.

Why I’m not getting it:

Expensive. I am going alone, and it’s going to cost 8000won a day = $9.20 a day. Seems fine until I calculate the total number of days (full week) = 65 bucks. Woah. Plus, I need a credit card to put a deposit on the egg. If not it’s 200,000won cash. Who travels and leaves a deposit of cash till the end of the trip? 이게 말이 되요? Plus I found out the egg needs to be charged. It’s not a super egg. What. Not only I have to worry about charging my battery eater S3 phone, I still need to babysit this egg? It’s not so unlimited come to think of it. This device would be better for people who can share the costs. But this device can only connect to 1 user at a time. Haha. You have to log out before the next person can log in. And you have to return the damn egg. which puts a damper on people who may not use the egg for so many days but have to buy the extra days rental because they aren’t able to return the egg. And you have to reserve the egg.

OPTION 2: Free Wifi Hotspots

Excellent. Leeching off other people’s internet. Most cafes provide them anyway, so it’s not really leeching.

Why I’m not going to use this fully:

I intend to visit and cafe hop. This seems to suit exactly my needs. Plus, I can charge my phone at their sockets.. MUST READ <Seoulistic – chargers everywhere>. The bad thing is that I’m stuck to that location. And I can’t use the internet on the go, or on subways. You may be able to leech free internet from anywhere, but it will depend on your luck. Plus, if you have to buy a drink everytime you wanna use wifi, it’s like using a wifi egg.

Although, you can check this out for some default passwords! http://seoulistic.com/quick-tip/how-to-get-free-wifi-anywhere-in-korea-2/

 And! http://seoulistic.com/quick-tip/10000-places-to-get-free-wifi-in-seoul-with-maps-and-apps-2/

OPTION 3: Prepaid Olleh Wifi Zone 

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Foreigner friendly. The website comes in the basic Eng, Jp, Chinese language. This card/pin numbers can be purchased at convenience stores. The price is fairly cheap, it comes in 1 hour and 1 day version (nobody goes for 1 hour, unless it’s emergency?) I can use this and stand outside buildings to use the internet without having to go into a cafe and get a drink.. and even on subways. Gosh.

I would say this is a happy compromise. I can choose to use wifi on days I want. Note though, I read a limitation from a chinese post:

http://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=753092

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She says that she bought the one day wifi access to try it out, and truth to be told, the olleh wifi signals can be found everywhere. Though there’s a troublesome point about this.. that is you have to constantly log in all the time. You could be at Starbucks using the wifi, and if you simply move to a nearby spot, you’ll leave the wifi area. Even if there is another wifi signal at the shop next door, it doesn’t track your movements. You’ll have to re-log in. So it’s best if you don’t move too much with this service, and walk and stop and walk and stop. Even when you’re using chat apps like LINE or app notifications, you need to pause at areas with wifi hotspots before being able to use those services..

And here’s a japanese blog showing you how to use the receipt version (haven’t yet seen anyone using the card one)

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/jakarta_oyaji/29801858.html

I also read that sometimes the name you have to create a very english sounding name in case the website thinks your name is too asian. lol

ALTERNATIVES: http://www.korea4expats.com/article-temporary-wifi-options.html

 

Seoulo Travel..

SKIP if you’re here for korean related post only because the following is just personal ramble.
Now, why I was late for my hangul day post was because…… I’m going to go to Seoul next week. Alone.
I was planning to do double trips this year to gear me up for solo trip to Korea sometime next year.. Since I’m not naturally independent, and I surround myself with independent friends who always have no problems doing lots of things.. it’s a very attractive quality, I feel. Something which I lack, I hope to have. So right before my trip, I knew of my friend’s dad being hospitalised for tests.. Thinking it could be an omen, I decided to meet her to plan for our trip anyway..) It turns out on Hangul Day.. when I was typing this post.. I received a message from her, saying that her dad has cancer and she won’t be able to make it to Seoul with me. She’d have to forgo her plane tickets and hotel accomodations.. amounting to 1+k. .. to go consult doctors.  So I saved the post and waited.
When I first heard it, I had no reaction. Then time trickled by.. and I slowly got the sense of impending doom… On one hand I feel really bad for her dad, because I was also worried for my parents.. my mom naturally has bad digestion and vomits and feels full easily.. The early satiation is one symptom for  stomach cancer. In fact, I did research just the week before about stomach cancer.. And I have a higher risk for it just by being blood type A. People with blood type A have a higher tendency feel more stressed. Instead of my friends who have relaxed attitudes, I would be the worrier. In fact, I am probably over prepared for the korea trip. But it still is not enough. I slept late each day trying compile info for the trip, I felt less excited.  People who smoke too have a higher risk for cancer. I don’t smoke and hate smoke passionately..
But then Solo travel was something I always read bloggggssssss and blogs about. They fill me up with hope and inspiration, thinking one day I’ll try my own.. the day before I had a chat with my mom about this exact topic.  She suggested I go to nearby countries to test it out first.. but the month before I just came back from Osaka (have to blog about this) and it was supposed to be my ‘practice trip’. Oh well, I found it tiring.
Now I have to go alone, I’m slowly feeling reexcited about it.  Even preparing the itinerary I wasn’t really not interested, constantly looking for alternatives and things to do… It was boring when I had to plan for Osaka trip though. I dunno. What happened to my passion for Japan?? Maybe the prospect of having many things to buy plus kpop in seoul is just appealing. I’m not even planning a kpop centered trip. I’m just going to visit the JYP and Cube cafe for a short sit in and then go my way and look at the sights. Perhaps my interest in S Korea extends far beyond the music and seeps into the culture too.
I can’t wait to see all the stores, try some korean food (I will be so intimidated with the menu), go to cafes, see the hongdae night performances, visit the rivers, watch their TV, use their internet, push around in  the subway – actually i don’t want that.. meet people,
In fact, yes, meet people. I actually RSVPed a languagecast meet up in Hongdae, during the time I’ll be in Seoul!! So exciting! To meet the cast of Talk to me in Korean, and meet up with english speaking people practising various languages! I’ll definitely have problems finding the place (I don’t even deal well with directions in singapore..), but one of my dreams is to meet inspiring people who will spur me to improve myself. I think it’s going to be good! Going to bring a note book to learn new stuff. 😀
I’m surprised, because I’m not usually a doer. I talk, think, imagine, say but seldom take action. This time I’ve been given the chance to do this solo travel.. (Still feeling sad for my friend though) gosh, everyone please eat healthy, no salty and preserved foods, or stuff rich in sugar, don’t smoke or stay by people who do (Gonna have problems in seoul)
And just now I went to apply for a credit card(s).. one bank’s lady was so kind! she offered to expedite things for me so I can get my card asap before my trip. whether I get a card or not will affect if I will have Olleh egg wifi to rent at Incheon lol. If you don’t, you’ll have to leave a 200kwon deposit. Which is lame. who wants to leave extra money until the end of their trip and collect it before going back? Haha. The second bank Citi bank is quite amusing. The sales guy there was especially chatty and friendly.. and quite shy?  I dunno. He switched between moments of professionalism ‘Miss I need you to sign here’ and just plain friendly ‘Oh you stay here, me too actually. Is your office the one near this this and there’s lots of xx bank staff there?), and I wanted to laugh because it was kinda amusing. In the end, with his help I was signed to a lot of random cards. 😀 Yeah well. I can feel rich now. Without actually wanting to. Haha. I actually feel like being social. Which is so rare.
These moments are normal for a sociable person, but you have no idea how much I treasure moments where people treat me nice. 원래 나는 별로 사교적인 사람 아니니까.. ^^; 아무튼!  I’m also going for another meetup tomorrow. With a group of locals learning korean. Hopefully it won’t be like japanese meetups, where basically almost everyone is pro at it, and they make me feel inferior.. :< Is that why I don’t have much good feelings for Japanese (except for this really handsome guy OMG I MUST BLOG ABOUT THIS – *RAMBLE) I’ll update about the meet up tomorrow! 😀
TATA.

 

헤피 한글날! Hangul Day

This post was late. I’ll explain why at the end of the post.

==========

 

It’s hangul day today! The beautiful characters of Hangul was born on this day, invented by King Sejong.

To celebrate this event, seems like Naver has launched a new line of Nanum fonts! (Thanks to the headsup from 2chois) These Nanum fonts have been redesigned to provide better reading from mobile phones, a very kind gesture may I add. Hangul is a beautiful language, and to see it celebrated like this makes me proud. Even though I’m not Korean. Haha.

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Anyway, you can download these fonts (The Nanum Barun Gothic font),

Image

(The Nanum Gothic/myungjo font – left right respectively)

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(The Nanum handwritten font)

Image

and an decorative looking (Nanum Gothic Echo font)

Anyways! They are all on the same page! Just scroll down to download. To download these, click on that black button, which opens the options:

TTF 나눔고딕에코 일반용 (TTF Nanum (name of the font) for normal use | 윈도우용 (Windows) 맥용 (Mac)
OTF 나눔고딕에코 그래픽용OTF For graphic use) 윈도우용 (Windows) 맥용 (Mac)
0010
Also, they are providing Android theme launchers featuring these fonts!
They are available here, 3 options (each slider’s link is different, make sure you check them out)
=============
SKIP if you’re here for korean related post only because the following is just personal ramble.
Now, why I was late in this post was because…… I’m going to go to Seoul next week. Alone.
I was planning to do double trips this year to gear me up for solo trip to Korea sometime next year.. Since I’m not naturally independent, and I surround myself with independent friends who always have no problems doing lots of things.. it’s a very attractive quality, I feel. Something which I lack, I hope to have. So right before my trip, I knew of my friend’s dad being hospitalised for tests.. Thinking it could be an omen, I decided to meet her to plan for our trip anyway..) It turns out on Hangul Day.. when I was typing this post.. I received a message from her, saying that her dad has cancer and she won’t be able to make it to Seoul with me. She’d have to forgo her plane tickets and hotel accomodations.. amounting to 1+k. .. to go consult doctors.  So I saved the post and waited.
When I first heard it, I had no reaction. Then time trickled by.. and I slowly got the sense of impending doom… On one hand I feel really bad for her dad, because I was also worried for my parents.. my mom naturally has bad digestion and vomits and feels full easily.. The early satiation is one symptom for  stomach cancer. In fact, I did research just the week before about stomach cancer.. And I have a higher risk for it just by being blood type A. People with blood type A have a higher tendency feel more stressed. Instead of my friends who have relaxed attitudes, I would be the worrier. In fact, I am probably over prepared for the korea trip. But it still is not enough. I slept late each day trying compile info for the trip, I felt less excited.  People who smoke too have a higher risk for cancer. I don’t smoke and hate smoke passionately..
But then Solo travel was something I always read bloggggssssss and blogs about. They fill me up with hope and inspiration, thinking one day I’ll try my own.. the day before I had a chat with my mom about this exact topic.  She suggested I go to nearby countries to test it out first.. but the month before I just came back from Osaka (have to blog about this) and it was supposed to be my ‘practice trip’. Oh well, I found it tiring.
Now I have to go alone, I’m slowly feeling reexcited about it.  Even preparing the itinerary I wasn’t really not interested, constantly looking for alternatives and things to do… It was boring when I had to plan for Osaka trip though. I dunno. What happened to my passion for Japan?? Maybe the prospect of having many things to buy plus kpop in seoul is just appealing. I’m not even planning a kpop centered trip. I’m just going to visit the JYP and Cube cafe for a short sit in and then go my way and look at the sights. Perhaps my interest in S Korea extends far beyond the music and seeps into the culture too.
I can’t wait to see all the stores, try some korean food (I will be so intimidated with the menu), go to cafes, see the hongdae night performances, visit the rivers, meet people,
In fact, yes, meet people. I actually RSVPed a languagecast meet up in Hongdae, during the time I’ll be in Seoul!! So exciting! To meet the cast of Talk to me in Korean, and meet up with english speaking people practising various languages! I’ll definitely have problems finding the place (I don’t even deal well with directions in singapore..), but one of my dreams is to meet inspiring people who will spur me to improve myself. I think it’s going to be good! Going to bring a note book to learn new stuff. 😀
I’m surprised, because I’m not usually a doer. I talk, think, imagine, say but seldom take action. This time I’ve been given the chance to do this solo travel.. (Still feeling sad for my friend though) gosh, everyone please eat healthy, no salty and preserved foods, or stuff rich in sugar, don’t smoke or stay by people who do (Gonna have problems in seoul)
And just now I went to apply for a credit card(s).. one bank’s lady was so kind! she offered to expedite things for me so I can get my card asap before my trip. whether I get a card or not will affect if I will have Olleh egg wifi to rent at Incheon lol. If you don’t, you’ll have to leave a 200kwon deposit. Which is lame. who wants to leave extra money until the end of their trip and collect it before going back? Haha. The second bank Citi bank is quite amusing. The sales guy there was especially chatty and friendly.. and quite shy?  I dunno. He switched between moments of professionalism ‘Miss I need you to sign here’ and just plain friendly ‘Oh you stay here, me too actually. Is your office the one near this this and there’s lots of xx bank staff there?), and I wanted to laugh because it was kinda amusing. In the end, with his help I was signed to a lot of random cards. 😀 Yeah well. I can feel rich now. Without actually wanting to. Haha. I actually feel like being social. Which is so rare.
These moments are normal for a sociable person, but you have no idea how much I treasure moments where people treat me nice. 원래 나는 별로 사교적인 사람 아니니까.. ^^; 아무튼!  I’m also going for another meetup tomorrow. With a group of locals learning korean. Hopefully it won’t be like japanese meetups, where basically almost everyone is pro at it, and they make me feel inferior.. :< Is that why I don’t have much good feelings for Japanese (except for this really handsome guy OMG I MUST BLOG ABOUT THIS – *RAMBLE) I’ll update about the meet up tomorrow! 😀
TATA.
I